KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat had their first home court appearance of 2018 on Friday night, taking on the visiting University of Saskatchewan Huskies. After a tough fight in the first half, it was a single possession game at the break, but Saskatchewan put together a second half that kept the Heat at a distance as they rolled to a 93-63 road win.
Three-point shooting and turnovers were the story of Friday night's game. The Huskies made 11 threes and shot over 50% from the floor, while the Heat committed 16 turnovers that led directly to 21 points for Saskatchewan. UBC Okanagan guard Patrick Dujmovic scored his career best leading the Heat with 20 points.
The Heat got on the board first against the Huskies, but Saskatchewan took a lead at 8:39 on a three from Lawrence Moore and held onto it through to the buzzer, where they were ahead 19-11. The Heat shot just 26.7% in the first, while the Huskies put up 53.3% from the floor and 42.9% from three-point range to help them ahead. Moore finished the first ten minutes of play with a game-leading eight points.
Saskatchewan extended their lead to double-digits early in the second, with a pair of layups in the first minute that put them up 12, as Alex Unruh became the first player in the game to pass ten points scored. For the Heat it was Patrick Dujomovic hitting double-digits first, as back-to-back threes from him cut the lead to just seven with 2:12 left before the half. Traded threes by TJ Robinson and Aldrich Berrios had it 41-34 with 44 seconds left, but the Huskies made it a double-digit game again on a pair of free throws and a layup. A pair of free throws shot after the buzzer by Philip Okanlawon made it a nine-point game at the half, with the Heat behind 45-36.
The Heat were the only team on the board in the first two minutes of the third, as Berrios hit another three to make it a six-point game. From then on the Huskies kept the Heat off the board until nearly the halfway point, pulling ahead by 14, up 53-39, at a time-out. Spencer Thomas became just the second Heat player to score in the quarter, with a layup at 3:10, and Triston Matthews was the third with a layup with 11 seconds left. At the buzzer the Huskies were up 65-50.
Unable to cut into the lead early on in the fourth, the Heat were down 14 with 7 minutes left, with Aldrich Berrios doing all the scoring to that point. Dujomovic got back on the board with another three at 5:32, cutting the lead to 14, but it wasn't enough to swing the momentum in the home side's favour. The Huskies closed out the fourth with 20 points in the final five minutes, holding the Heat to four. At the final buzzer it was 93-63 for the visitors.
Patrick Dujmovic led the way in scoring for the Heat, finishing with 20 points. Aldrich Berrios (16) and Triston Matthews (10) also finished scoring in double-digits. Matthews also finished with a team-high 4 assists.
Dujmovic tied for a team-high in rebounds, as he and Kyrin Cybenko each had seven. Matthews and Okanlawon each had five boards.
All five of the Huskies' starters finished in double-digits for points. Lawrence Moore led the way, with 22 points, followed by Alex Unruh and Emmanuel Akintunde, with 16 apiece, Addison Dewar (12), and Joseph Barker (10). JT Robinson came off the bench to score 13.
Akintunde had a team-high nine rebounds to finish just shy of a double-double, and Barker grabbed seven boards. Moore had a team-high three assists, and Akintunde led the team in steals with four.
By the Numbers:
The Huskies were the better shooting team all around Friday night. Their 50.8% field goal percentage was their biggest weapon, and they led from beyond the arc (36.7% - 36.4%) and from the free-throw line (72.7% - 62.5%). Saskatchewan's bench also contributed 17 points, while the Heat got nine from theirs.
Rebounds were 35-33 for Saskatchewan, who also led in steals (10-2). The Heat had the assists advantage (14-10), and the teams each had nine second chance points.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (2-11) and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies (4-9) will play again tomorrow night, with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.
~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information